Karl Heisenberg (December 5, 1901 – February 1, 1976) was a celebrated
German physicist and Nobel laureate, one of the founders of quantum
mechanics, and acknowledged to be one of the most important physicists
of the twentieth century. He was born in Würzburg, Germany and
died in Munich. Heisenberg was the head of Germany's nuclear energy
program, though the nature of this project, and his work in this capacity,
has been heavily debated. He is most well-known for discovering one
of the central principles of modern physics, the Heisenberg uncertainty
As a student, he met Niels Bohr in Göttingen in 1922. A fruitful
collaboration developed between the two.
He invented matrix
mechanics, the first formalization of quantum mechanics in 1925, which
he developed with the help of Max Born and Pascual Jordan. His uncertainty
principle, developed in 1927, states that the simultaneous determination
of two paired quantities, for example the position and momentum of a
particle, has an unavoidable uncertainty. Together with Bohr, he formulated
the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.
He received the
Nobel Prize in physics in 1932 "' for the creation of quantum mechanics,
the application of which has, inter alia, led to the discovery of the
allotropic forms of hydrogen ".
In the late 20s
and early 30s, Heisenberg collaborated with Wolfgang Pauli, and along
with Paul Dirac, developed an early version of quantum electrodynamics.
However, at the time, nobody could get rid of the infinities plaguing
the theory, and it was only after World War 2 that a technique called
renormalization was invented to take care of the infinities.
After the discovery
of the neutron by James Chadwick in 1932, Heisenberg proposed the proton-neutron
model of the atomic nucleus and used it to explain the nuclear spin
During the early
days of the Nazi regime in Germany, Heisenberg was harassed as a "White
Jew" for teaching theories that Albert Einstein, a prominent Jew,
had conceived. This was in contradiction to the Nazi-sanctioned Deutsche
Physik movement. After a character investigation that Heisenberg himself
instigated and passed, SS chief Heinrich Himmler banned any further
political attacks on the physicist.
Work during the
Nuclear fission was discovered in Germany in 1938. Heisenberg remained
in Germany during World War II, ostensibly to help rebuild German science
after the massive brain drain that occurred in the 1930s as a result
of Nazi policies banning Jews from government jobs, which led to the
expulsion of Jewish physics professors from the state universities.
Heisenberg by all accounts was loyal to Germany, but not the Nazi regime.
The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics (of which he was the Director)
was appropriated by the Nazi Heereswaffenamt. He belonged to a team
led by Walther Bothe to develop one of Germany's many nuclear weapon/nuclear
power programs, but the extent of his cooperation in the development
of weapons has been a subject of much controversy. Heisenberg's work
consisted of various efforts to create sustained fission reactions.
A rival atomic bomb project was led by Kurt Diebner for Heerswaffenamt,
who, with Paul Harteck worked on uranium enrichment and a uranium-based
atomic bomb. Neither team was successful before of the end of the war,
because of various factors including complications from various invasions
toward the end of the war and lack of funding from the government.
It has been speculated
that Heisenberg had moral qualms and tried to slow down the project.
Heisenberg himself may have attempted to paint this picture after the
war, and Thomas Power's book Heisenberg's War and Michael Frayn's play
Copenhagen adopted this interpretation. This is because during a June
1942 meeting with Albert Speer, the minister for Nazi munitions, Heisenberg
did not champion the project in a way which got it much attention or
funding (which Samuel Goudsmit of the Alsos project interpreted as being
partially because Heisenberg himself was not fully aware of the feasibility
of an atomic bomb). At best, he tried to hinder the German project;
at worst, he was just unable to create an atomic bomb.
The debate about
Heisenberg's views on the use of atomic weapons is centered on the period
from 1939-1942, during which time Germany made a decision not to pursue
a nuclear weapons programme. During this period, several events give
insight into Heisenberg's role in that decision. At various points evidence
during the period suggested that Heisenberg deliberately was steering
Germany's research efforts toward developing nuclear energy, rather
than nuclear weapons. Some evidence suggests that Heisenberg attempted
to communicate these views to the Allies. For example, in April 1941
a German Jewish physicist, Fritz Reiche, arrived in the United States
bearing a message from Heisenberg's colleague and friend Fritz Houtermans
which was relayed to American officials in the following handwritten
colleague [Houtermans] who is working at a technical research laboratory
asked him [Reiche] to let us know that a large number of German physicists
are working intensively on the problem of the uranium bomb under the
direction of Heisenberg, that Heisenberg himself tries to delay the
work as much as possible, fearing the catastrophic results of a success."
(Thomas Powers, Heisenberg's War: The Secret History of the German Bomb.)
Next, there was Heisenberg's visit with an old friend Niels Bohr in
occupied Copenhagen in September 1941, the purpose of which has been
subject of great debate. Further, German scientist Hans Peter Jensen
visited Niels Bohr in Copenhagen during 1943, of which Bohr wrote that
efforts to increase the production of heavy water in Norway and hinted
in this connection that the German physicists were only considering
general technical energy generation."
Finally, in May 1943 the German spy Erwin Respondek passed a report
to Sam Woods, an American consular official in Zurich, that
Wilhelm group [where Heisenberg was chief of theoretical work in Berlin]
purposely raised 'difficulties' to slow down work on the project."
According to some Heisenberg critics, the German war efforts stalled
in 1940 not because of moral qualms, but because Heisenberg had made
a gross overestimate of the "critical mass" of fissionable
material (Uranium 235) required for a bomb. An estimate of this amount
was crucial to the decision about proceeding with a serious nuclear
weapons programme because of the enormous difficulty and expense of
separating the U235 from the U238 that makes up the vast bulk of natural
uranium, and the length of time it would take to develop a reactor capable
of transmuting the uranium into plutonium. According to some critics,
Heisenberg had miscalculated the "critical mass" by not taking
into account the "drunkard's walk" trajectory of the slow
neutrons emitted, thereby overestimating the amount needed as being
in the order of tons, not kilograms as was in fact the case.
However, the contention
that Heisenberg had wrongly determined in 1940 that a uranium bomb was
not technically feasible is at odds with other evidence. First, during
the 1941 visit with Bohr, Heisenberg stated that
"in the preceding
years [Heisenberg] had devoted [him]self almost exclusively to the question
and were quite certain that it could be done," and that he "felt
certain that the war, if it lasted sufficiently long, would be decided
with atomic weapons."
According to Bohr's later notes,
said explicitly that he did not wish to enter into technical details
but that Bohr should understand that he knew what he was talking about
as he had spent 2 years working exclusively on this question."
It is unclear why Heisenberg would report to Bohr in 1941 that his research
efforts had led him to conclude that a usable nuclear weapon was feasible
if, in fact, a miscalculation in 1940 had led him to conclude that it
was not feasible.
Second, after the
war, Heisenberg and other German physicists were taken by the British
to Farm Hall, where their conversations were monitored. The transcripts,
however, are ambiguous, and subject to debate. At points, it appeared
that Heisenberg had miscalculated the critical mass of uranium required
for an atomic bomb —covert eavesdropping revealed that, on hearing
of the Allied bombing of Hiroshima, he was at first convinced it was
a propaganda trick, so sure was he that the critical mass was impracticably
large. Some historians have questioned the reliability of the transcripts,
as Heisenberg probably knew he was being monitored.
Indeed, there are
indications that Heisenberg had made the correct calculation earlier.
In June 1942 Heisenberg answered a question about the size of the fissionable
core of a bomb by holding his hands to suggest something the size of
a football or pineapple, which would have been roughly right. Indeed,
after presenting the "incorrect" calculation to the Farm Hall
scientists (including those sympathetic to the Nazi regime), one of
Heisenberg's confidants, Otto Hahn, questioned Heisenberg's remark that
"tons" of U-235 were needed for a bomb "But tell me why
you used to tell me that one needed 50 kilograms of 235 in order to
do anything. Now you say one needs two tons."
I have never worked it out as I never believed one could get pure 235.
I always knew it could be done with 235 with fast neutrons. That's why
235 only can be used as an explosive. One can never make an explosive
with slow neutrons, not even with the heavy water machine [the German
nuclear reactor], as then the neutrons only go with thermal speed, with
the result that the reaction is so slow that the thing explodes sooner,
before the reaction is complete."
Ultimately, upon seeing the reports of the bombing of Hiroshima, Heisenberg
told his friend, von Weizsäcker
"I was absolutely
convinced of the possibility of our making an uranium engine [reactor]
but I never thought that we would make a bomb and at the bottom of my
heart I was really glad that it was to be an engine and not a bomb.
I must admit that."
Whatever the cause, it is clear that on June 4, 1942, Heisenberg met
with German Minister Albert Speer concerning possible uses of Heisenberg's
nuclear research, and particularly its potential suitability for the
development of nuclear weapons. Notwithstanding Heisenberg's September
1941 report to Bohr that he felt certain nuclear weapons could be constructed
and powerful enough to conclude the war if it lasted long enough, during
this meeting with Speer he highlighted the technical difficulties and
vast time and materials required to separate the uranium needed for
It was this meeting,
and Speer's report on it to Hitler, that effectively scuttled any military
applications for his work, and limited Heisenberg's work during the
remainder of the war to theoretical uses of nuclear energy. As Speer
were compounded, Heisenberg explained, by the fact that Europe possessed
only one cyclotron, and that of minimal capacity. Moreover, it was located
in Paris and because of the need for secrecy could not be used to full
Curiously, Heisenberg did not mention the cyclotron in Copenhagen as
a possible source for enriching uranium.
Biography and controversy
In 1956, journalist Robert Jungk published a book titled Brighter Than
a Thousand Suns, which painted Heisenberg as having single-handedly
and purposely derailed the German project for moral reasons. To justify
the claim, in the Danish edition of the book, Jungk printed an excerpt
from a personal letter from Heisenberg. The excerpt, however, was taken
heavily out of context, and in the full letter Heisenberg was far more
demure about whether he had taken a strong moral stance. After reading
the excerpt, Bohr was understandably flustered that Heisenberg was (apparently)
claiming to have purposely derailed the Nazi bomb project, as it did
not match his own perception of Heisenberg's war work at all.
of science have taken the Bohr's draft letters as evidence against Heisenberg's
contention that he had met with Bohr to signal that Germany's scientists
would not pursue the development of nuclear weapons. Others have argued
that Bohr profoundly misunderstood Heisenberg's intentions at the 1941
meeting, and that his reaction to Jungk's work was overly passionate.
Significantly, Bohr's draft letters confirm virtually all of Heisenberg's
recollection to Jungk of the substance of the meeting. However, as a
piece of evidence the letters cannot provide an answer to the question
of why Heisenberg broached the topic of nuclear weapons -- but not their
technical aspects —with Bohr, or whether Bohr formed the correct
"impression" of what Heisenberg wanted to say. Heisenberg's
motives will most certainly continue to be debated, but it cannot be
questioned that he knew Bohr was going to be escaping to the allies
when he spoke to him in 1941, and that Heisenberg was risking his life
by speaking to anyone about atomic power or atomic weapons.
It is also thought
that Italian scientist Gian Carlo Wick approached Heisenberg in January
1944 as an emissary for the OSS as part of Operation Sunrise, to negotiate
the capitulation of Nazi scientists to the Allies' Operation Alsos.
Allied intelligence through Stockholm continued to sound the alarm about
Nazi uranium research right up to war's end, but this was part of Diebner's
project, not Heisenberg's.
"He lies somewhere here" has been his epitaph (original German:
"Er liegt irgendwo hier"). 
According to an
apocryphal story, Heisenberg was asked what he would ask God, given
the opportunity. His reply was: "When I meet God, I am going to
ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really
believe he will have an answer for the first."
This story is probably
untrue, as it bears an uncanny likeness to the following reported incident:
the difficulty of explaining and studying turbulence in fluids was wittily
expressed in 1932 by the British physicist Horace Lamb, who, in an address
to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, reportedly
said, "I am an old man now, and when I die and go to heaven there
are two matters on which I hope for enlightenment. One is quantum electrodynamics,
and the other is the turbulent motion of fluids. And about the former
I am rather optimistic." 
Father: Dr. August Heisenberg, professor of Byzantine studies at the
University of Wurzburg (Germany); Mother: Annie Wecklein; Wife: Elisabeth
Schumacher (m. 1937, seven children including neurobiologist and geneticist
Nobel Prize for Physics 1932, Matteucci Medal 1929
Fellow, Royal Society, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Places he worked at: University of Göttingen (1924), University
of Copenhagen (1926-27), University of Leipzig (1927–41), University
of Berlin (1941), University of St. Andrews (1955-56), University of
One author wrote that Heisenberg was an unexpectedly good essayist.
In 1929 he visited India and met Rabindranath Tagore. He was critical
of the British colonial administration. 
Born: 5 Dec 1901
in Würzburg, Germany
Died: 1 Feb 1976 in Munich, Germany
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father was August Heisenberg and his mother was Anna Wecklein. At the
time that Werner was born his father was about to progress from being
a school teacher of classical languages to being appointed as a Privatdozent
at the University of Würzburg. Anna's father, Nikolaus Wecklein,
was the headmaster of the Maximilians Gymnasium in Munich and it was
while August Heisenberg was a trainee teacher at that school that he
had met Anna. August and Anna were married in May 1899. Werner had an
older brother Erwin, born in March 1900, who was therefore nearly two
years older than the subject of this biography.
... a rather stiff,
tightly controlled, authoritarian figure.
He was an Evangelical
Lutheran and his wife Anna had converted from being a Roman Catholic
to make sure there were no religious problems with their marriage. August
and Anna, however, were only religious for the sake of convention. A
Christian belief was expected of people of their status so for them
it was a social necessity. In private, however, they expressed their
lack of religious beliefs, and in particular they brought up their children
to follow Christian ethics but showed total disbelief in the historical
side of Christianity.
In September 1906,
shortly before his fifth birthday, Werner enrolled in a primary school
in Würzburg. He spent three years at that school but then in 1909
his father was appointed Professor of Middle and Modern Greek at the
University of Munich. In June 1910, a few months after his father took
up the professorship, Werner and the rest of the family moved to Munich.
There he attended the Elisabethenschule from September, spending only
one year at this school before entering the Maximilians Gymnasium in
Munich. This of course was the school where his grandfather was the
In 1914 World War
I began and the Gymnasium was occupied by troops. Lessons were arranged
in different buildings and as a result of the disruption Heisenberg
undertook much independent study which probably had a beneficial effect
on his education. His best subjects were mathematics, physics and religion
but his record throughout his school career was excellent all round.
In fact his mathematical abilities were such that in 1917 he tutored
a family friend who was at university in calculus. During this period
he belonged to a paramilitary organisation which operated in the Gymnasium
with the intention of preparing the young men for later military service.
worked on farms as his contribution to another voluntary organisation
which sent the boys to help in the fields in spring and summer. This
work took him away from home for the first time in 1918 when he was
sent to work on a dairy farm in Upper Bavaria. It was a time of great
hardship with long hours of labour made worse since there was insufficient
food. He spent his spare time playing chess, which he did to a very
high standard, and also read mathematics texts he had taken with him.
In fact by this time he had become interested in number theory and he
read Kronecker's work and tried to find a proof of Fermat's Last Theorem.
After the war ended
in 1918 the situation in Germany became unstable with different factions
trying to take power by force. Heisenberg took part in the military
suppression of the Bavarian Soviet forces but, although it was a very
serious business, the young men probably treated it almost as a game.
He later wrote :-
I was a boy of 17
and I considered it a kind of adventure. It was like playing cops and
In the Gymnasium
Heisenberg led a youth movement and he later led a movement within the
Young Bavarian League. In 1920 he took his Abitur examination and was
one of two pupils entered from the Maximilians Gymnasium for a Bavarian
wide competition for a scholarship from the Maximilianeum Foundation.
Eleven scholarships were available and Heisenberg just made it by coming
in eleventh place. His examination results in mathematics and physics
were classed as extraordinary, but his essay on "tragedy as poetic
art" was much less impressive. He declined the offer of free accommodation
from the Foundation, preferring to live with his parents.
In the period between
taking his Abitur examination and entering the University of Munich,
Heisenberg went off hiking with his youth group. He nearly died of typhoid
which he contracted after spending the night in a castle which had been
used as a military hospital. He recovered, despite the problems of obtaining
suitable food, in time to begin his university studies. During the summer
of 1920 Heisenberg was, as he had been for some time, intending to study
pure mathematics at university. He had read Weyl and also Bachmann's
text which gave a complete survey of number theory and this was to be
his intended research topic for his doctorate. He approached Ferdinand
von Lindemann to see if he would be his research supervisor.
Had the interview
with Lindemann been a success then Heisenberg might today be known as
an outstanding number theorist. However, the interview did not go well,
almost certainly since Lindemann was only two years off retiring and
had only agreed to see Heisenberg as a favour to his father who was
a friend and colleague. Following this Heisenberg had an interview with
Sommerfeld who happily accepted him as a student.
With his fellow
student Pauli, Heisenberg began to study theoretical physics under Sommerfeld
in October 1920. At first he was cautious, taking mostly mathematics
classes and making sure that he could revert to mathematics if the theoretical
physics went badly. He avoided courses by Lindemann, however, so his
mathematical interests moved from number theory to geometry. Soon his
confidence in theoretical physics was such that by the second semester
he was taking all of Sommerfeld's courses. He also took courses in experimental
physics, which were compulsory, and he began to plan to undertake research
in relativity. However Pauli, who was at that time working on his major
survey of the theory of relativity, advised him against doing research
in that topic. On atomic structure, however, Pauli explained, much needed
to be done since theory and experiment did not agree.
In  Heisenberg
wrote of his early days at university:-
My first two years
at Munich University were spent in two quite different worlds: among
my friends of the youth movement and in the abstract realm of theoretical
physics. Both worlds were so filled with intense activity that I was
often in a state of great agitation, the more so as I found it rather
difficult to shuttle between the two.
In June 1922 he
attended lectures by Niels Bohr in Göttingen. Returning to Munich,
Sommerfeld gave him a problem in hydrodynamics to keep him busy while
he (Sommerfeld) spent session 1922-23 in the United States. Heisenberg
presented preliminary results on the problem on turbulence at a conference
in Innsbruck before going again to Göttingen to study with Born,
Franck, and Hilbert while his supervisor was away. There he worked with
Born on atomic theory, writing a joint paper with him on helium. His
doctoral dissertation, presented to Munich in 1923, was on turbulence
in fluid streams.
After taking his
doctorate Heisenberg went on a trip to Finland then, in October 1923,
he returned to Göttingen as Born's assistant. In March 1924 he
visited Niels Bohr at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen
where he met Einstein for the first time. Returning again to Göttingen
he delivered his habilitation lecture on 28 July 1924 and qualified
to teach in German universities.
I learned optimism
from Sommerfeld, mathematics at Göttingen, and physics from Bohr.
From September 1924
until May 1925 he worked, with the support of a Rockefeller grant, with
Niels Bohr at the University of Copenhagen, returning for the summer
of 1925 to Göttingen. Heisenberg invented matrix mechanics, the
first version of quantum mechanics, in 1925. He did not invent these
concepts as a matrix algebra, however, rather he focused attention on
a set of quantised probability amplitudes. These amplitudes formed a
non-commutative algebra. It was Max Born and Pascual Jordan in Göttingen
who recognised this non-commutative algebra to be a matrix algebra.
was further developed in a three author paper by Heisenberg, Born and
Jordan published in 1926. In May 1926 Heisenberg was appointed Lecturer
in Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen where he worked with Niels Bohr.
In 1927 Heisenberg was appointed to a chair at the University of Leipzig
and he delivered his inaugural lecture on 1 February 1928. He was to
hold this post until, in 1941, he was made director of the Kaiser Wilhelm
Institute for Physics in Berlin.
In 1932 he was awarded
the Nobel Prize in physics for:-
The creation of
quantum mechanics, the application of which has led, among other things,
to the discovery of the allotropic forms of hydrogen.
In the presentation
speech H Pleijel said:-
Heisenberg ... viewed
his problem, from the very beginning, from so broad an angle that it
took care of systems of electrons, atoms, and molecules. According to
Heisenberg one must start from such physical quantities as permit of
direct observation, and the task consists of finding the laws which
link these quantities together. The quantities first of all to be considered
are the frequencies and intensities of the lines in the spectra of atoms
and molecules. Heisenberg now considered the combination of all the
oscillations of such a spectrum as one system, for the mathematical
handling of which, he set out certain symbolical rules of calculation.
It had formerly been determined already that certain kinds of motions
within the atom must be viewed as independent from one another to a
certain degree, in the same way that a specific difference is made in
classical mechanics between parallel motion and rotational motion. It
should be mentioned in this connection that in order to explain the
properties of a spectrum it had been necessary to assume self-rotation
of the positive nuclei and the electrons. These different kinds of motion
for atoms and molecules produce different systems in Heisenberg's quantum
mechanics. As the fundamental factor of Heisenberg's theory can be put
forward the rule set out by him with reference to the relationship between
the position coordinate and the velocity of an electron, by which rule
Planck's constant is introduced into the quantum-mechanics calculations
as a determining factor. ...
mechanics has been applied by himself and others to the study of the
properties of the spectra of atoms and molecules, and has yielded results
which agree with experimental research. It can be said that Heisenberg's
quantum mechanics has made possible a systemization of spectra of atoms.
It should also be mentioned that Heisenberg, when he applied his theory
to molecules consisting of two similar atoms, found among other things
that the hydrogen molecule must exist in two different forms which should
appear in some given ratio to each other. This prediction of Heisenberg's
was later also experimentally confirmed.
Heisenberg is perhaps
best known for the Uncertainty Principle, discovered in 1927, which
states that determining the position and momentum of a particle necessarily
contains errors the product of which cannot be less than the quantum
constant h. These errors are negligible in general but become critical
when studying the very small such as the atom. It was in 1927 that Heisenberg
attended the Solvay Conference in Brussels. He wrote in 1969:-
To those of us who
participated in the development of atomic theory, the five years following
the Solvay Conference in Brussels in 1927 looked so wonderful that we
often spoke of them as the golden age of atomic physics. The great obstacles
that had occupied all our efforts in the preceding years had been cleared
out of the way, the gate to an entirely new field, the quantum mechanics
of the atomic shells stood wide open, and fresh fruits seemed ready
for the picking.
The Physical Principles of Quantum Theory in 1928. In 1929 he went on
a lecture tour to the United States, Japan, and India. In the 1930s
Heisenberg and Pauli used a quantised realisation of space in their
lattice calculations. Heisenberg hoped this mathematical property would
lead to a fundamental property of nature with a 'fundamental length'
as one of the constants of nature.
In 1932 Heisenberg
wrote a three part paper which describes the modern picture of the nucleus
of an atom. He treated the structure of the various nuclear components
discussing their binding energies and their stability. These papers
opened the way for others to apply quantum theory to the atomic nucleus.
In 1935 the Nazis
brought in a law whereby professors over 65 had to retire. Sommerfeld
was 66 and he had already indicated that he wanted Heisenberg to succeed
him. It was an appointment which Heisenberg badly wanted and in 1935
Sommerfeld again indicated that he wanted Heisenberg to fill his chair.
However this was the period when the Nazis wanted "German mathematics"
to replace "Jewish mathematics" and "German physics"
to replace "Jewish physics". Relativity and quantum theory
were classed as "Jewish" and as a consequence Heisenberg's
appointment to Munich was blocked. Although he was in no way Jewish,
Heisenberg was subjected to frequent attacks in the press describing
him to be of "Jewish style".
In 1937 Heisenberg
married Elisabeth Schumacher. He met her through his music which was
important to him throughout his life. An excellent pianist, Heisenberg
met Elisabeth Schumacher at a concert in which he was performing at
the house of a friend. Elizabeth was only 22 when they met, Heisenberg
was 35. They were married on 29 April 1937, less than three months after
they first met. Heisenberg had been asked to take up the appointment
at Munich in March but had asked for the date to be delayed until August
because of his wedding. It was agreed that he should take up the appointment
on 1 August. He and his wife arrived in Munich in July but his appointment
was blocked by the Nazis.
During the Second
World War Heisenberg headed the unsuccessful German nuclear weapons
project Uranverein. He worked with Otto Hahn, one of the discoverers
of nuclear fission, on the development of a nuclear reactor but failed
to develop an effective program for nuclear weapons. Whether this was
because of lack of resources or a lack of a desire to put nuclear weapons
in the hands of the Nazis, it is unclear.
After the war he
was arrested by Alsos, a secret mission that followed the advancing
Allied forces in Europe to determine the progress of Germany's atomic
bomb project. He was interned at Farm Hall in Godmanchester, Huntingdonshire,
England, with other leading German scientists. However he returned to
Germany in 1946 when he was appointed director of the Max Planck Institute
for Physics and Astrophysics at Göttingen. In the winter of 1955-1956
he gave the Gifford Lectures "On physics and philosophy" at
the University of St Andrews. When the Max Planck Institute moved to
Munich in 1958 Heisenberg continued as its director. He held this post
until he resigned in 1970.
He was also interested
in the philosophy of physics and wrote Physics and Philosophy (1962)
and Physics and Beyond (1971).
many honours for his remarkable contributions in addition to the Nobel
Prize for Physics. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London,
and was a member of the academies of Göttingen, Bavaria, Saxony,
Prussia, Sweden, Rumania, Norway, Spain, The Netherlands, Rome, the
Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina, the Accademia dei Lincei, and
the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among the prizes he received
was the Copernicus prize.